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DOE Study Shows Heating And Cooling Energy Use Cut By 25 Percent With New Window Retrofit Technology
40-year-old Philadelphia high-rise exemplifies new benchmark for energy efficiency in older buildings
Pedricktown, N.J. – The RENOVATE by Berkowitz™ (Renovate) window retrofit system has enabled 400 Market Street, a 12-story building in Philadelphia, to reduce its annual heating and cooling energy consumption by more than 25 percent and significantly improve indoor comfort according to results from a year-long study funded by the U.S Department of Energy.
Built in 1972, the 200,000-square-foot building was retrofitted with the Renovate system’s Platinum version in 2011, which added a factory-made insulating glass unit (IGU) to the original single-pane windows, creating an energy-efficient triple-pane IGU. As part of a $1.6M DOE-funded study conducted by the Home Innovation Research Labs and Quanta Technologies, Inc., the building demonstrated the ability of low-e retrofit glazing systems to improve the energy efficiency of older commercial buildings.
Project manager Thomas Culp, of Birch Point Consulting, LLC, said, “At more than 25 percent, the whole building’s heating and cooling energy savings were significant and on par with what I expected, but frankly, I was surprised by how much the savings were in the perimeter offices—up to 35-60 percent, depending on orientation. It shows the potential the Renovate system has for significantly improving an existing commercial building with more glass surface area.”
Carolyn Pfeiffer, property manager for Kaiserman Company, the owners of the building, added, “We are certainly thrilled with the energy savings, but we also accomplished our others goals, such as improving the comfort level for our tenants. As you can imagine, sitting next to inefficient glass can be cold in the winter and warm in the summer, potentially leading to discomfort and decreased productivity for whoever sits next to the window.”
According to Culp, the study also examined four unoccupied perimeter offices in the building, two facing east and two facing north. One office in each pair was retrofitted with the Renovate system, while the other was left untouched. “The data showed that the surface temperatures of the retrofitted windows were typically 20 degrees warmer on winter days and 10-20 degrees cooler on summer days, substantially improving comfort and usability of the space,” he said.
“People tend to focus on the energy efficiency of new buildings, but there is a huge opportunity to improve a large number of older buildings that have single-pane windows,” Culp said.
“Retrofitting these buildings with the Renovate system can provide comparable energy savings at up to half of the cost of a traditional rip-out-and-replace project,” added Darrell Cherry, business development manager for Renovate by Berkowitz.
Culp also is monitoring Kevon Office Center, located outside of Philadelphia, which was updated with the Renovate system in 2012. The 100,000-square-foot building features 19,000 square feet of windows. While the project is still being evaluated, Culp says he expects even better energy savings at this building because it’s using the Renovate Platinum Plus II and Renovate Platinum Plus II XL versions of the system, which add two lites of high-performance low-e glass to the existing single-pane windows.
For more information on how the Renovate system can help aging commercial buildings become more energy efficient, visit www.RbBwindow.com.
Renovate by Berkowitz, LLC, (RbB) was established in 2010 by the owners of J.E. Berkowitz, LP (JEB), a leading architectural glass fabricator. JEB manufacturers the RENOVATE by Berkowitz™ window retrofit system at its 200,000-square-foot facility in Pedricktown, N.J. For more information, visit www.RbBwindow.com.